SAUK CITY (WKOW) – A sex offender is banned from a Sauk City nursing home after authorities say he victimized fellow residents.
69-year old Galen Malisch is charged with two counts of felony, second degree sexual assault and also misdemeanor crimes. He’s jailed, with bail set at $20,000 and with bail conditions he stay away from Maplewood Health & Rehabilitation Center in Sauk Prairie and other senior living centers.
A criminal complaint states Malisch sexually touched a 95-year old fellow resident earlier this month. The complaint also says Malisch volunteered to authorities he also sexually touched another resident, who has difficulty communicating.
The complaint says Malisch said of his victim in her nineties "…he hoped that (victim) wouldn’t say anything because of her advanced age."
In 1990, Malisch was convicted of second degree sexual assault in Dane County and sentenced to five years in prison. He has a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender.
The administrator of Maplewood, Paul Fiscus has yet to return a call from 27 News seeking comment on Malisch’s residence there.
Director Susan Blodgett of the Sauk County Aging & Disability Resource Center says even families inquiring about a loved one’s stay at a nursing home, may receive no information from a facility as to the presence of any registered sex offenders.
"By state law, they are not required to notify the residents," Blodgett says.
Blodgett says families should use other resources to gather information on resident history.
"I would…send them to the sex offender registry for the state of Wisconsin," she says. "That’s going to have people’s address on it, where they live."
But a check of the registry for Galen Malisch lists his residence as in North Freedom, not at Maplewood’s Sauk City address, even though available information indicates he’s lived at Maplewood for at least six months.
While there can be information gaps on the registry, Blodgett says verifying other aspects of a nursing home’s operation can help gauge whether it’s likely someone with a sex offender history would be supervised closely. "I’d find out what the staff-to-client ratio is," Blodgett says. "I’d find out the turnover (rate)."
Experts also say comparisons of nursing homes on www.medicare.gov score facilities on different factors, such as health inspections and staffing. Resource Center Information Specialist Julie Mayer says Maplewood is the only rated facility in Sauk County with no score for staffing. The online data base simply lists the category for Maplewood as "not available."
In the Malisch case, one of the misdemeanor charges is a hate crime. A prosecutor says the charge was lodged because the victim was singled out due to a disability.